A Seed Saver's Garden

heirloomgal

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The problem is that when something gets renamed, then there are 2 (or more) identical strains with different names. Eventually the history gets lost - which may include the relevant original provenance. (See @Bluejay77 's bean query today for how that could become an issue). Granted, the separate lines may diverge at some point... but for preservation purposes, having multiple apparently-identical strains floating around with no history eventually becomes problematic. So @Bluejay77 might end up saving 3-4 beans under different names instead of one. It's bad enough when beans cross national boundaries, being given a different name in each language. (such as Meraviglia di Venezia, and Marvel of Venice.)

Admittedly, many seed savers (including myself) are at some point guilty of naming something acquired with no name. Which doesn't mean that it didn't have one - given by someone elsewhere - which could crop up later (like in a goose, pun intended :D). I had to name the cowpea sent to me by @Bluejay77 , because while I suspect that I know that it is, the history was lost, and I can't take a chance on being wrong. Two different varieties with the same name is a major problem, especially if what you receive ends up not being what you expected... and reading descriptions of varieties listed in SSE offered by multiple people, I frequently see evidence of this.
Yes, I totally agree @Zeedman . I also look at it from a dollars and cents point of view really, in that in these last couple years I've put out some dough on seeds, and I'd rather not buy more than one packet of the same thing if I can help it. It all adds up and is a waste of good coin when I can buy other varieties and try to keep them going and spread around too, instead of wasted doubles. Every double packet bought is a lost opportunity to me.

That said, I do think that there are times when giving a name to something, or even renaming, can be a help to a variety. Someone who bred a lettuce called 'Brown Goldring' (this was years ago so I'm foggy on the details) but the first thing in the blurb stated 'too bad about the name' because the public had not shown much interest in a lettuce with a name like that. It does sound icky! And the varietal names like XPL3986-01 - no one will remember that. People like charming, evocative and that just don't have it. I was going over a new pepper site last night and they have hundreds of peppers, several of the names beginning with APS and then some abstract tacked on. I skipped over every single one of those peppers. I'd rather go with the 'Aji Mango' or 'Aji Strawberry Drop' that they had listed. They are naming some of their own crosses, and without much imagination. I don't consider those peppers to have much chance at a future. Few people want to grow NVR 645643; the collectors might, but varieties tend to survive over time by being grown widely, not by a select group.

I actually may be in a little pickle about a certain bean I'm growing in 2023. I plan to list with SoDC, and the name of this bean is NOT going to go over well with the folks over there. I will absolutely not be able to list the bean under it's proper name because no doubt I'll get some blowback which I'd rather avoid, the feminist battalions in particular. I have no intention to rename it, but I may give it a different spelling, like 'Sloot'. Yes, this is problematic, but less problematic than a dozen *heartfelt* e-mails to me by the self anointed. A seed saving friend of mine had her life threatened because someone took issue about a variety on her website - I mean, clown world. She had to go to the police, and she is elderly. But I think IMHO there are times and circumstances where a name alteration is logical or appropriate. Saving your keister for instance. ;)

Most gardeners are not into all the details of historicity etc. they just wanna grow good food or nice things. I know some elderly gardeners who mostly grow things in their garden year after year by the picture on the packet at the store, and maybe one key word in there somewhere. They might get given a seed from a friend, or neighbor, grow it and never know the name until some else asks them for some seeds. That person asks, what are these tomatoes called? And the person doesn't know, they didn't care about a name, just a good tomato, so they say my friend Frank gave it to me. So that person calls it 'Frank's Tomato'. It might be Gardener's Delight or Sweet Million but now it's 'Frank's Tomato'. lol
 
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Branching Out

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And for home gardeners who don't share seeds widely this is often sufficient--and may even be a good thing, in that the name that they give their seed tells them where that seed came from. For example, last summer I was offered a tomato seedling from my friend Phil, who got the seed from his elderly Italian uncle. His uncle has been growing them for years, and it was an amazing tomato-- huge, tasty fruits weighing 20 ounces with almost no seeds. Great for BLT sandwiches, or for roasting for sauce. The name that I gave it? 'Phil's Italian Uncle'! ☺️
 

Pulsegleaner

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Yes, I totally agree @Zeedman . I also look at it from a dollars and cents point of view really, in that in these last couple years I've put out some dough on seeds, and I'd rather not buy more than one packet of the same thing if I can help it. It all adds up and is a waste of good coin when I can buy other varieties and try to keep them going and spread around too, instead of wasted doubles. Every double packet bought is a lost opportunity to me.

That said, I do think that there are times when giving a name to something, or even renaming, can be a help to a variety. Someone who bred a lettuce called 'Brown Goldring' (this was years ago so I'm foggy on the details) but the first thing in the blurb stated 'too bad about the name' because the public had not shown much interest in a lettuce with a name like that. It does sound icky! And the varietal names like XPL3986-01 - no one will remember that. People like charming, evocative and that just don't have it. I was going over a new pepper site last night and they have hundreds of peppers, several of the names beginning with APS and then some abstract tacked on. I skipped over every single one of those peppers. I'd rather go with the 'Aji Mango' or 'Aji Strawberry Drop' that they had listed. They are naming some of their own crosses, and without much imagination. I don't consider those peppers to have much chance at a future. Few people want to grow NVR 645643; the collectors might, but varieties tend to survive over time by being grown widely, not by a select group.

I actually may be in a little pickle about a certain bean I'm growing in 2023. I plan to list with SoDC, and the name of this bean is NOT going to go over well with the folks over there. I will absolutely not be able to list the bean under it's proper name because no doubt I'll get some blowback which I'd rather avoid, the feminist battalions in particular. I have no intention to rename it, but I may give it a different spelling, like 'Sloot'. Yes, this is problematic, but less problematic than a dozen *heartfelt* e-mails to me by the self anointed. A seed saving friend of mine had her life threatened because someone took issue about a variety on her website - I mean, clown world. She had to go to the police, and she is elderly. But I think IMHO there are times and circumstances where a name alteration is logical or appropriate. Saving your keister for instance. ;)

Most gardeners are not into all the details of historicity etc. they just wanna grow good food or nice things. I know some elderly gardeners who mostly grow things in their garden year after year by the picture on the packet at the store, and maybe one key word in there somewhere. They might get given a seed from a friend, or neighbor, grow it and never know the name until some else asks them for some seeds. That person asks, what are these tomatoes called? And the person doesn't know, they didn't care about a name, just a good tomato, so they say my friend Frank gave it to me. So that person calls it 'Frank's Tomato'. It might be Gardener's Delight or Sweet Million but now it's 'Frank's Tomato'. lol
Yeah duplicates are usually a waste of money. I have three or four packets of miniature Thai gourd or luffa, since no two people are offering it even under the same GENUS name ( I'm STILL not sure if it is a luffa or a snake melon).

I just dread the day when digitization of information is so automatic and universal that some ultra scientific minded person decides the PROPER name to call any variety is the entirety of its genetic karyotype (i.e. the order of every nucleotide in its chromosomes). It would be the most ACCURATE way (since you could classify things down below species and subspecies to familial relation and even individual.) but NO ONE is going to remember them (anymore than the modern math student in this day and age of scientific calculators is going to have the foggiest idea of how to use a slide rule, let alone calculate logarithms IN THEIR HEAD,)

And yes, there are plenty of names that are going to cause problems these days. I'm still suprised people are willing to grow "Knudel" beans, given what Knudel literally means (something like rabbit turd). We've already turned the fruit Kaffir lime into Makrut lime due to racist connotations, presumably, if the Hottentot Fig ever becomes popular, it will get a similar makeover. Someone may one day decide Dutchman's Breeches is insulting to people from Holland, and we'll start calling it something like "pantsflower". There is the tomato Indishe Fliesh (Indian Meat).
I had my own experience with modern reactions. I had originally planned to call my miniature flour corn (when I stabilized it) "Jo-gee-oh" after the mythical little people of Iroquois folklore. I though it was a tribute, everyone else said it was cultural appropriation (and a few said that trying to develop a new breed of corn in the first place was racist for a non-native.)
 

heirloomgal

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Yeah duplicates are usually a waste of money. I have three or four packets of miniature Thai gourd or luffa, since no two people are offering it even under the same GENUS name ( I'm STILL not sure if it is a luffa or a snake melon).

I just dread the day when digitization of information is so automatic and universal that some ultra scientific minded person decides the PROPER name to call any variety is the entirety of its genetic karyotype (i.e. the order of every nucleotide in its chromosomes). It would be the most ACCURATE way (since you could classify things down below species and subspecies to familial relation and even individual.) but NO ONE is going to remember them (anymore than the modern math student in this day and age of scientific calculators is going to have the foggiest idea of how to use a slide rule, let alone calculate logarithms IN THEIR HEAD,)

And yes, there are plenty of names that are going to cause problems these days. I'm still suprised people are willing to grow "Knudel" beans, given what Knudel literally means (something like rabbit turd). We've already turned the fruit Kaffir lime into Makrut lime due to racist connotations, presumably, if the Hottentot Fig ever becomes popular, it will get a similar makeover. Someone may one day decide Dutchman's Breeches is insulting to people from Holland, and we'll start calling it something like "pantsflower". There is the tomato Indishe Fliesh (Indian Meat).
I had my own experience with modern reactions. I had originally planned to call my miniature flour corn (when I stabilized it) "Jo-gee-oh" after the mythical little people of Iroquois folklore. I though it was a tribute, everyone else said it was cultural appropriation (and a few said that trying to develop a new breed of corn in the first place was racist for a non-native.)

Yikes. One of the things that has had me thinking about this issue in the last year is some research I did for a bean I have called 'Sietske'. This is what I found on Bohnen Atlas about it:

According to research, the pole bean was selected and registered around 2011 by Johannes Spyksma in the Netherlands from the historical Friese Woudboon variety.
It is a great bean with beautiful coloring, selected naturally, but is not a historical variety. Approval was granted in 2014.
Carpe Diem - 02.05.2018, 08:06

What caught my attention was the sentence 'Approval was granted in 2014.' I can't claim to know exactly what that implies, but it sounds like the freedom to simply select and release or share a new variety (or selection) with a new name is limited. It got me thinking - are there places where if you find a cross, or if you start seeing a slightly different expression in a variety you aren't free to just name it and share it around? That you need to 'register' names officially with the gov or get 'approval' from them to select your own vegetable, in your own backyard? I don't even think I want to know the answer to that at this point.

This is all ever so poignant as I had great difficulty sleeping last night, thinking about the young, 16 year old man in Ontario who was arrested this week for 'thinking a thought' the school doesn't officially approve of. Arrested! A fine upstanding young man, close & loving relationship with his parents, the model student. This means my own DS, if he were in lamestream school, would suffer the same fate. This control thing is getting beyond scary. And it seems to increasingly extend into all aspects of life. Even vegetables. One of my last interactions with a school teacher was over some films being shown to the kids to encourage them to be hateful (to a certain president in particular). I contacted the teacher via email and asked one question - why are these types of films being shown? She refused to communicate with me ever again, in any form. The principal became the intermediary and explained the 'teacher' is no longer able to talk to you because she's "afraid'. I asked, why? Because, she told me, this teacher never met anyone with a different opinion from hers and it's far too much stress.' ----> :oops:

I don't want to go on a rant, but I can't help but think that a serious problem with the *so called 'correct way' of being or doing often turns into 'the only' way.
 

meadow

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What caught my attention was the sentence 'Approval was granted in 2014.' I can't claim to know exactly what that implies, but it sounds like the freedom to simply select and release or share a new variety (or selection) with a new name is limited. It got me thinking - are there places where if you find a cross, or if you start seeing a slightly different expression in a variety you aren't free to just name it and share it around? That you need to 'register' names officially with the gov or get 'approval' from them to select your own vegetable, in your own backyard? I don't even think I want to know the answer to that at this point.
Maybe Russ or Artorious would know the implications of said 'approval.' It might be entirely innocent. 🤞
 

heirloomgal

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I hope I'm wrong. 🤞 But when you look through the 'EU's Seed Marketing Information' links, it looks worrisome.

This is the 10th provision:

"Provisions relating to the length of time during which acceptance of a variety is to remain valid, the grounds on which acceptance may be revoked and the practices for maintenance of the variety must be standardized. Member States should inform one another of the acceptance and withdrawal of varieties."

Just the first page says a lot.⬇️

 

flowerbug

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I hope I'm wrong. 🤞 But when you look through the 'EU's Seed Marketing Information' links, it looks worrisome.

This is the 10th provision:

"Provisions relating to the length of time during which acceptance of a variety is to remain valid, the grounds on which acceptance may be revoked and the practices for maintenance of the variety must be standardized. Member States should inform one another of the acceptance and withdrawal of varieties."

Just the first page says a lot.⬇️


i'm not wading through all that but it reads much like a wish list of what they'd like to have happen, but i'm not sure that is what actually did happen.

notice the difference though between marketing and selling seeds and what most people do with garden seeds (share them around). when it comes down to selling seeds there are more regulations than if you are giving them away, and less regulations if you are a small timer vs. a larger company.
 

Pulsegleaner

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I think it probably has to do with the key difference between US and European seed laws. The US runs on a 'blacklist" system, under which there is a list of things you CAN'T grow, and anything not on that list is OK.

Europe runs under a "whitelist" system, where there is a list of what you CAN grow, and anything non on the list is NOT OK. This system was originally designed to guard against fraudulent and misrepresented seeds, but has been heavily co-opted in favor of the big agricultural companies to the point that getting a new OP variety on (or even keeping and old one) can often be very hard, since they set the standards for consistency so strict that only a uniform F1 hybrid can qualify (basically to stand every plant often has to be genetically identical to every other plant of the variety.)

Canada runs on the same system, I think. I remember someone on the other forum mentioning someone he knows who gets raided almost annually for growing a non-approved potato.
 

heirloomgal

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Found some new peas today! Sugar Lace II I've tried before (and failed, twice) but the other two I've never seen before. Yay, I love new varieties to try, especially container types!
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I also got some wonderful pepper gifts from @Jack Holloway - all of which I'm very excited to try! Thank you so much Jack! :hugs
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Some of the other (mostly sweet) peppers I've dug up to try for this year, and a few I newly ordered. The 2 most popular peppers here bar none are Sweet Banana and Hungarian Wax, and I've never tried either. They are on every seed rack in every store, so I can't help but wonder if these two have attributes that are worthy of such popularity. I guess we'll see!
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